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Delta bumps 50 passengers to accommodate Gator

The SportsXchange

Dozens of passengers were bumped from a Delta Air Lines flight from Gainesville, Fla., to Atlanta on Sunday so the University of Florida's basketball team could travel to Storrs, Conn., for its Monday night game against the Connecticut Huskies.

According to the Gainesville Sun, the Gators' charter plane had a mechanical issue so Delta canceled a commercial flight so the team could use the plane. An airline spokesman told the paper that the passengers were accommodated on other flights and given vouchers valid for use through Delta for future trips.

The commercial flight was scheduled to depart at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, with some travelers not leaving Gainesville until Monday after being re-routed. The airplane had 50 seats and the original flight was believed to be full.

"We generally fly private charters, although we do bus one or both ways for some games that are closer to home," team spokesman Denver Parler told the Sun in an email. Parler also wrote that any decision on what plane was used for the team would be made by Delta.

One passenger who was supposed to be on the canceled flight told the paper that passengers were told the flight had a mechanical issue, only for people to notice the Gators basketball team boarding the plane.

The Gators lost to the Huskies, 65-64, on Monday night when UConn guard Shabazz Napier made a jump shot at the buzzer.
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